Q and A with Designer Jude Ng
Does being a slow fashion label made entirely in Melbourne make a difference to how your label has been received by the public?
Yes I believe so. The customers who come into our boutique and studio get to see us at work on our designs while shopping the collections in our store, which is an exciting retail experience for them. They really get to interact with us, watch us making, and really learn the story of how their clothes are made. I feel that they really appreciate this.
Your flagship store in Johnson St Fitzroy is often the first point of contact between you and new customers.It’s a very inviting space and you and your team have a reputation for warmly welcoming people to this space, without hovering over them. Tell us about the role of your store in building the Jude brand.
Thank you for the compliments! I feel that our store has really become like our home – the hub and lifeblood of our business. It is the space where our work really comes to life, and our customers get the full experience of what we do.
Jude garments are crumple free and ideal for travelling. Is this an important factor in your success so far?
I think it is definitely one of the big factors in our work, as our customers lead such active and multi faceted lifestyles, that they need pieces which work for many occasions. They really appreciate fabrics which are either textured or have an element of stretch, so that they can literally pull them out of their bag or suitcase, and wear them to feel dressed up.
Along with being made entirely in Melbourne, Jude is known for its quality, ethically produced fabrics, tailoring and enduring designs. Is “slow fashion” gaining traction with the Australian public?
Within our 5-6 years in business, we have seen the visible rise of the ethical consumer. People are definitely more interested these days in buying from ethically and socially conscious labels like us, and are very interested in the story behind the clothes they are wearing.
Tell us about your new collection, launched last night.
This upcoming season, we pay homage to the natural force of water as the sculptor of rock to create glorious structure and proportions. We sculpted clothes to reflect this natural erosion and asymmetry. Our pieces are streamlined and wearable, with artistic detailing. We created a trans-seasonal and versatile collection of timeless pieces, which we want our customers to incorporate into their current wardrobes, and keep wearing for years to come.
While your designs are gender neutral, are we starting to see more gender delineation with your new collections?
I feel with our upcoming collection, we are still showcasing our signature gender neutral pieces very strongly, and we also have very dedicated womenswear and menswear, which people should not be afraid to interchange, depending on their own personal style and what works for them.
What has been the biggest thing to happen for Design by Jude in the last 12 months?
Although it is not an actual event highlight, I am just so proud of the AW 19 Collection we had created this year, because we had really pushed the boundaries of convertability with our clothing in this collection. We are also really thrilled at how well received this collection was.
What’s the next biggest thing on the horizon for your slow fashion label?
We are planning our very first conceptual runway experience for VAMFF next year! In the early stages of conception at the moment, and we will let everyone know more exciting news on this project in the coming months!